The first Chanukah culinary creation was of Italian design: ricotta cheese balls fried in olive oil.
They did not catch on.
The Jews of northern Europe tried coarsely milled buckwheat pancakes cooked in chicken or goose fat.
That concoction also failed to gain traction.
Finally, 1,600 years after the miracle of miracles, the humble potato crossed the Atlantic from
Peru . . . and Chanukah found its flavor!
But even with the essential ingredient in hand, Jews — ever inclined to bicker about food — still quibble about what makes the perfect latke:
Should the potatoes be grated or shredded?
Topped with applesauce or sour cream?
Thick and creamy or thin and crispy?
Discerning Chanukah epicureans long to know.
Two millennia of latke evolution continues with:
Jake Cohen, cookbook author and Jewish food influencer
Leah Koenig, freelance writer and cookbook author
Sophie Rand, co-founder Luxe Latkes
Jeffrey Yoskowitz, food entrepreneur and Jewish food expert
Moderated by Gabriella Gershenson, James Beard Award–nominated food journalist and an editor of The 100 Most Jewish Foods and On the Hummus Route.